MUMBAI - India is likely to see average monsoon rains this year, the state-run weather office said on Friday, which should support agricultural production and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.
Monsoon rainfall is expected to be 96 %of the long-term average (LPA), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June.
In July, the country could receive 95% rainfall of LPA, while in August rains could 99% of LPA, it said.
The monsoon season delivers about 70% of India's annual rainfall and is key to the success of the farm sector in Asia's third-biggest economy.